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Discussion Starter #1
I am having a 390 built and I'll build a trans crossmember. Modern Driveline sells the TKO-600 with 3 different input shafts (all the same price). The regular Ford shaft requires the $786 Quick Time Bellhousing, then they also sell two shorter shafts for use with an OEM car bellhousing or the truck bellhousing. The truck bellhousings are a dime a dozen. I could buy one cheap and then have it decked and squared. Or... I buy the regular Ford TKO and buy an $786 QuickTime bell that will always have a huge hole in the side because they don't sell a rubber boot to cover the linkage.
Regular shaft and quick time bell seams easier but more expensive.
The "short" shaft and OEM bell sounds cheaper but might require a little more work finding and preparing parts.
Does anyone have an opinion one way or another? Am I seeing this correctly? Am I missing something?
(My car currently has no trans tunnel so I need engine, bell, trans, and driveline so I know where it will all go to make the crossmember and then the floor.)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I've read that thread a few times and I learn something new every time I read it. It interests me that one of those guys used a truck bellhousing. I'm trying to do my homework so I don't run into too many compatibility issues. Example: The Sanderson headers I want (FF390) require a Powermaster 9606 mini starter which requires a 184 tooth flywheel. I don't have my motor built yet and I'm sure it is not coming with a flywheel but I'll wait and see. I think the motor is internally balanced so that will determine the flywheel too. The TKO I get will determine the bellhousing I get which might influence the clutch I get which will affect the clutch linkage I use ect, ect, ect.


I appreciate any comments and tidbits of info I can get. Thank you.


What I'm looking at so far:
TKO-600 TCET-5008 (shaft to be determined)
Quick Time RM-6056 or 6057 (determined by shaft length)
RAM Clutches RAM-88769HDT, 26 spline, 11 inch, input shaft 1.125
Starter and headers listed above.
 

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Yeah, I've read that thread a few times and I learn something new every time I read it. It interests me that one of those guys used a truck bellhousing. I'm trying to do my homework so I don't run into too many compatibility issues. Example: The Sanderson headers I want (FF390) require a Powermaster 9606 mini starter which requires a 184 tooth flywheel. I don't have my motor built yet and I'm sure it is not coming with a flywheel but I'll wait and see. I think the motor is internally balanced so that will determine the flywheel too. The TKO I get will determine the bellhousing I get which might influence the clutch I get which will affect the clutch linkage I use ect, ect, ect.


I appreciate any comments and tidbits of info I can get. Thank you.


What I'm looking at so far:
TKO-600 TCET-5008 (shaft to be determined)
Quick Time RM-6056 or 6057 (determined by shaft length)
RAM Clutches RAM-88769HDT, 26 spline, 11 inch, input shaft 1.125
Starter and headers listed above.
Every one I have converted I have used the short input and the car bellhousing, except for one short bed truck where we used a stock truck bell. The truck bell, even with the input designed for it, wasn't right and I had to machine the input, it was slightly long at the splines. The car versions were all spot on for depth

One benefit of using the car bell is that it should use a standard length driveshaft for a 4 speed car, if you have one, that's a money saver, if you don't and are building a shaft, then not much benefit.

One thing I would say though is pay attention to the 1st gear and 5th gear ratios. My rule of thumb, is no more than 12:1 1st gear when multiplied by rear axle, and no less than 2.5 in 5th. Tire size gets a vote to adjust, but in most cases with an FE, the .64 OD with a 3.91-4.11 gear works real well

You'll love the tranny, I have had one behind my 489 inch FE since 2006, hasn't missed a beat. A good buddy will be putting one behind a 461 inch 520 hp CJ very soon with a 4.11 gear as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is EXACTLY the type of info I am looking for. I'll be Googling the the code for a car bell as soon as I log off this site. I have a drive line from my parts car that had the 223 3-speed on the column. didn't really think that would be usable.

I am currently at work and can't look at eBay on a this computer. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #6
One thing I would say though is pay attention to the 1st gear and 5th gear ratios. My rule of thumb, is no more than 12:1 1st gear when multiplied by rear axle, and no less than 2.5 in 5th. Tire size gets a vote to adjust, but in most cases with an FE, the .64 OD with a 3.91-4.11 gear works real well
Okay, my gears are 3.55 because that is what was in the parts car. I also have the 9 inch from the convertible that came stock with a 390 and cruise-o-matic. Not sure what the gears are because there is no tag on it. I think the door tag has that info but i have not looked it up in a few years. Whichever rear end I use, I'll go through it and might end up buying a new 3rd member anyway.

The only reason I was looking at the TKO-600 and the .64 was i want to cruise on the freeway at 75. That being said, I also need to beat my son in his 63 Comet with a 302 and toploader. That is the only car i need to beat. I went to modern driveline and looked at their calculator for speed and gears and stuff. I thought the 600 with .64 was what I was after. If this is not what i want, I'd value opinions.

How do I do that math for the 12:1 thing?
 

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Not exactly an apples to apples comparison, but some info for you based on my experience.

I installed a t5 trans, with a .63 5th gear, into my 64 390 (t-10 4spd.) car earlier this year.

I agree with your choice for the tko, especially if your engine is going to be higher hp and you plan to race it or drive it hard. I just cruise mine, so the weaker t5 should be fine for a while.

I had the same questions as you. Bellhousing choices, and input length etc. I ended up using an adapter plate on my stock bellhousing, from here. https://transmissionadapters.com/

I spoke with them on the phone and emailed them pictures and depth and bolt pattern measurements of my stock bell, because they have several options, and the owner insisted on making sure he got me the right plate, the first time. I really appreciated his commitment to his customers by taking the extra time to do things that way.

As for my trans. I bought a rebuilt foxbody mustang v8, world class t5 from a reputable builder. It has the shorter shaft, but on my build I did have to machine the end of the input shaft.

The stock t-10 has a little shorter length pilot shaft and the transition from the pilot bushing surface to the splines is a 90 degree angle. The t5 input shaft has a tapered section at the beginning of the input shaft splines, that and the longer pilot shaft made it so that the transmission wouldn’t fully seat against the bellhousing adapter plate. Once that was sorted out and the transmission was in, everything else was cake.

I used the stock speedo cable, clutch, and crossmember. I built a mount to mate the trans to the crossmember. I had a new driveshaft built as well. I bought a cheap short shifter off of eBay for around $14 shipped and figured out that a hurst stick for a 69 camaro was perfect to put the shifter knob right where I wanted it on a bench seat car.

With the stock 3.50 rear gear, and 275-45/ r18 rear tires, the car cruises down the interstate very well.

If you want to email me, I can send you pictures of my processes and parts if that would help you any. I’m happy to help get this kind of info out there to help you and others through this upgrade.

BC
 

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I installed a 600hp 429 in my 60 Galaxie and used the QT bell/TKO600 from MDL. They were quite helpful. Regarding your linkage, I used a Tilton hydraulic release bearing. Easy peasy -- nice firm pedal, no linkage required.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey Bret, you did my quote, 19260. When I did that request, I was guessing at a lot of stuff but I have made decisions and I just thought of it the other day. I pulled it up from my emails and all be damned. Its perfect. the only thing i'll cut from it is the clutch pedal (because I have one).

I get my motor in a few weeks and i will order the TKO and quick time bell. I need them to do my tunnel and floor. After that, I'll get the rest of the stuff I need to actually install it. Also, I'm going to have it delivered to my friends house and I'll take it to my shop from there. I don't need my wife looking at all those expensive looking boxes on the front porch. :surprise:

Talk to you soon.
 

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Okay, my gears are 3.55 because that is what was in the parts car. I also have the 9 inch from the convertible that came stock with a 390 and cruise-o-matic. Not sure what the gears are because there is no tag on it. I think the door tag has that info but i have not looked it up in a few years. Whichever rear end I use, I'll go through it and might end up buying a new 3rd member anyway.

The only reason I was looking at the TKO-600 and the .64 was i want to cruise on the freeway at 75. That being said, I also need to beat my son in his 63 Comet with a 302 and toploader. That is the only car i need to beat. I went to modern driveline and looked at their calculator for speed and gears and stuff. I thought the 600 with .64 was what I was after. If this is not what i want, I'd value opinions.

How do I do that math for the 12:1 thing?
Final drive ratio - OD X axle ratio is final drive (.64 * 4.11 = 2.63) ......remember, you can go too little gear too and tire size matters My Mustang with the .64 OD, 3.70s and 27 inch tires got better mileage with the 4.11 gear than a 3.70 because the engine was at a better cruise RPM. Smaller tires and less cam, you could go down, but I would limit myself to about 2.45:1 or so in OD. Keep in mind, mine is a relatively mild EFI 489 so no shortage of torque

1st gear compound ratio (also called Starting Line Ratio) - (1st gear X rear axle ratio) (2.87 * 4.11 = 11.79) First gear in a TKO 600 is 2.87:1, different than a Ford 4 speed at 2.32 or 2.78. You can go as deep as you want, but 1st gear gets a little short beyond 12:1 with a set of 27 inch tall tires. If your tires are shorter, I would crowd closer to 11:1. Ironically, the same Mustang got better mileage and was also more fun in town with 4.11s compared to 3.70s, stoplight to stoplight all the gears were happier, and hit the highway, I still drive a 2.63:1 final drive car

So, assuming you are running a shorter tire (run slightly less gear), heavier car (run slightly more gear), and a milder cam in a 390 (run slightly less gear), BUT 100 less cubic inches (run more gear), I would likely want the extra gear around town. So tall as a 3.89/3.91 with a TKO-600, with as low as a 4.11.

FWIW, we just did a 520 HP 461CJ FE, carbureted, concours resto sort of a hidden build Mustang, and we are going to go the 3.91 route with a TKO-600 because it has so much torque that it likely will blow the tires off with a small tire anyway. That will put us at 11.22 / 2.50:1. I likely could go taller, but the car will drag race now and then. If there is any concern about not going enough gear, a 390 Mustang with a 4 speed would be 9.73/3.50, looking at those numbers you can see, the car will accelerate harder (work less in traffic) then hit 5th and cruise on compared to stock.

One last comment for you, just realized you said you had a set of 3.55s A 235/60-15 with a 4.11 gear and the TKO-600 would have you at about 2600 RPM at 75 mph, 3.91 would have you at 2450 rpm or so. A set of 3.55s would have you at 2200 rpm. If the 390 is mild, it will be fine, if it's got some cam in it (more than about a 268H or 270H Comp), you might need the extra gear. FYI 10.18/2.27 compound gearing will be perfectly fine in 1st (and way more than stock), but you can see 5th gets a little tall. If you are on a budget, I would run the 3.55s and swap gears later, the stock 9 inch is likely 3.00s

Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There is A LOT of info in there i need to wrap my head around. Thank you very much.

BTW, I just went to Reno, walked in the Summit store and found my clutch on the clearance shelf for $125. I looked at it several time not believing my luck, took it to the counter and it's the right one.

Also, my motor guy says he should have the motor done this week so I should be able to get it on Saturday.
 
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Steve. Thank you for the shout out. I have updated the quote we did for you last year.
There is a lot of great discussion here about what axle ratios work best.
When Modern Driveline works with customers, we always ask for the axle ratio and rear tire size when determining the best transmission for your use. The transmission, axle ratio and rear tires together complete the power transfer. If one of the three components don’t match, you will either burn up a clutch trying to get the car going or zip through the gears and not have a usable overdrive.
Our Approach is simple for STREET use.
First gear 3000 RPM at 19-21 MPH +/- a bit. This provide a nice smooth acceleration and will get you through the intersection before having to shift gears.
Overdrive (5 or 6 speed) Low 2000 RPM range at 65 MPH.
When we achieve the above, all the other gears will be fine and not an issue.

How to achieve this and use the information provided. Go to the Tremec web page and find the “Tool Box”. If you don’t know your rear tire diameter, use the tire size calculator to get the diameter. Then use the speed calculator and enter the transmission of your choice, the axle ratio and rear tire diameter. Try different combinations until you achieve the above.
It’s really that simple.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I got my motor last Saturday. I called Bret at Modern Driveline and ordered the TKO, bellhousing, and lots of other stuff for the build. I also ordered my carb, starter, Sanderson headers and other stuff.


I'm having it all delivered to my friends house so my wife doesn't see it. :grin2:


I'll post more pics when I get it all to my shop (my wife never goes there.)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sometimes Santa Clause drives a big brown truck.


I finally had a chance to open all the boxes and inventory my orders. Everything looks good and I should be able to start a preliminary assembly so I can install it to build the trans tunnel. I'd like to thank Bret at Modern Driveline for the help and for the military discount!
 

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I am sure MD did you right, but be sure to check the following depths and compare to the corresponding measurement on the tranny

1 - Bellhousing surface to deepest point of crank pilot hole (input shaft pilot "nub" clearance)
2 - Bellhousing surface to surface of pilot bushing/bearing (input shaft spline clearance)
3 - Bellhousing surface to clutch disk surface (throughout bearing collar (also called front bearing mount) clearance

Each of those can be directly compared to the tranny mounting surface to end of pilot, end of splines, and end of front bearing mount. Although I don't usually see it with QT bells, I have seen enough variance in pilot bushing depth and installation technique to see things hit. Super easy to measure with clutch assembly and bell bolted on but before tranny is stabbed.

Absolutely none of those can hit, the first two can damage an engine quickly
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Its just bolted together so I could make sure it all fit. I am going to put it in the car so I can make a trans mount and build the tunnel.


I do have a question though. Part of the engine build was a flywheel. I have a clutch that should fit but I can't get all 6 bolt holes to line up at the same time on the flywheel. I can only get 3 bolts to line up at any one time. This is my question: Is a 390 flywheel different than a 390 GT flywheel. My engine is a 390 GT.
 

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If you are talking flywheel to crank, keep turning it, they will line up only one way

If you are talking pressure plate to flywheel, there are two versions, 11 inch clutch and 11.5 inch clutch. They have different pressure plate bolt patterns, some 390s, 427s and 428s had the big clutch, maybe even 352s but I don't play with those stockers much. Most 390s had 11 inch clutch.

If you have your part number for your pressure plate I can see if I can figure which it is. Many aftermarket flywheels have both options, best value out there is the Ford Racing flywheel, which uses either
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The clutch I have is DF148000. Yeah the pressure plate holes seem to be the correct distance from the center of the flywheel but the wrong distance apart. When I have the pressure plate centered on the flywheel, I can rotate it until the holes line up but only 3 line up at a time. There are six in the pressure plate

When you search Summit for DF148000 you get DF148000, DF148033, and DF148075. I can compare all three but they all appear to be the same on the comparison screen. Dual Friction, 1 1/8 in. Diameter Shaft, 26-Spline, 11 in.. Some say ford, some say Big Block ford. But when you look at the 148000 (which I have) it says it fits the 69 390. Now, my block is a 390 GT so I am wondering if that is the difference in the flywheels.
 
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